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Commercial Radio Australia’s statement on review of the News Media Bargaining Code

Industry body Commercial Radio Australia said the Federal Government’s review into the operation of the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code would be an opportunity to examine whether stronger actions are required to urge Google and Facebook to strike content deals with radio broadcasters.

Chief executive officer Joan Warner said the digital giants had yet to reach commercial agreements with the majority of commercial radio stations despite the ACCC granting CRA authorisation last October to collectively bargain over payment for radio content featured on those platforms.

“We are continuing to seek commercial outcomes but if Google and Facebook are unwilling to negotiate fair compensation, then stronger actions and designation may be required,” Warner said.

“We remain concerned that the current status quo will leave smaller media organisations such as radio stations at a competitive disadvantage.

“Commercial radio operates newsrooms across the country and generates a substantial amount of local news and information consumed by Australians on digital platforms.”

The Morrison Government said today that Treasury would conduct a review into the Code as required within 12 months of it coming into effect.

When granting CRA authorisation, the ACCC said that “commercial radio stations play an important role in providing regional and local reporting”.

CRA represents 261 member radio stations across metropolitan and regional Australia, including smaller operators across regional areas.

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